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The Painting that Saved Bill Murray's Life

The actor Bill Murray recently (2017) claimed that a work of art once saved his life. He was in Chicago for his first experience as an actor. Murray said, "[My performance] was so bad that I just walked out afterward and onto the street. I kept walking for a couple of hours. Then I realized that I walked in the wrong direction and not in just the wrong direction from where I lived, but in the desire to stay alive."

He headed for Lake Michigan as he contemplated taking his own life. Murray continued:

I thought, "If I'm going to die, I might as well go over toward the lake and float a bit." So, I walked toward the lake and reached Michigan Avenue and started walking north. Somehow I ended up in front of the Art Institute and walked inside. There was a painting of a [simple peasant] woman working in a field with a sunrise behind her. I always loved that painting. I saw it that night and said, "Look, there's a girl without a whole lot of prospects, but the sun's coming up and she's got another chance at it." I said, "I'm a person, too, and will get another chance every single day."

After gazing at the painting, Murray decided to live.

You can view the painting here: "Song of a Lark" by Jules Breton

Possible Preaching Angles: Art; Beauty; Gratitude; Thanksgiving; Despair; Hope; God, goodness of—Sometimes the simple but good things of life—like beauty, for instance—can awaken us to gratitude and the goodness of God.

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